Extraordinary powers for police online …

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Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020

A highly controversial piece of legislation, the bill was passed on the morning of the 25th of August 2021. The laws grants federal authorities new ‘extraordinary’ powers for online account takeovers in a bid to tackle serious criminal activity. Simply put, allowing police to legally takeover your account, network and data once they acquire a warrant. An unprecedented move that required 60 amendments to the bill in just one night.

How will the laws work?

The legislation is split into 3 distinct areas with warrants available for network activity, data and complete account take over. With these warrants, police can take control of your account without consent, as well as add, copy, delete or alter material to disrupt criminal activity and collect intelligence from online networks. Furthermore, the warrants don’t even need to be issued by a judge or court, which is rather worrying. In any case, we will be following these developments closely to keep you updated with key events.

A step in the right direction for tackling cyber crime. However, err on the side of caution, with great power comes great responsibility …

David Cherny (Director of Design & Development)